And the six shortlisted books vying for the Arthur C Clarke Award and the title of best science fiction novel of the year are...
The shortlisted books are:
Nod by Adrian Barnes (Bluemoose)
Dark Eden by Chris Beckett (Corvus)
Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway (William Heinemann)
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (Headline)
Intrusion by Ken MacLeod (Orbit)
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
“This is a fascinating and complex shortlist that demands repeated attention and thoughtful interpretation," said Award director Tom Hunter. "Shortlisting six books from a potential list of 82 eligible submissions is no easy task by any critical standard. I wholeheartedly commend our judges for all of their hard work, and similarly for presenting a shortlist that I hope people will find as much engaging and optimistic as it is subversive and challenging.”
“I’ve been thinking continuously on this list ever since it was first presented to me by Andrew Butler, our Chair of Judges, and there are some key points to note:
“Of our six shortlisted authors, two have been nominated more than once before, Ken MacLeod and Kim Stanley Robinson, and so this could well be one of their years. Two are critically acclaimed first novels, those by Adrian Barnes and Peter Heller, and two have good form with other award wins. Chris Beckett gained wide acclaim for being the first genre writer to win the Edge Hill prize in 2009. Moreover Nick Harkaway has just just won The Kitschies Red Tentacle award for best novel - an award that has demonstrated an almost eerie track record in recent years for predicting the winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award.”
Who'll follow in the footsteps of last year's winner Jane Rogers ? We'll find out when the winner is presented with the prize and a cheque for £2013 on Wednesday 1 May, at a ceremony hosted by the Royal Society in London as part of the SCI-FI-LONDON film festival.
What do you think of the list? Post your comments below.